Dear Blog Readers:
Thank you for your continued support as I discuss my experience surviving domestic violence, and a horrific experience in Hennepin County where the identified abuser was given sole custody of my two children – who are also victims to abuse.
Thank you for raising your voice to share your own experiences, and your thoughts. You have all inspired me. Your efforts to raise and effect needed change in family court and/or CPS is courageous. Your continued fight for the protection of your children and struggle to remain in their lives against incredible odds is heroic. I hope and pray that one day, justice will prevail and that no family, no child will ever have to endure this family court and/or CPS nightmare that has become a constant source of pain, and grief, in our lives.
In my own journey of healing from abuse, and dealing with being re-victimized by the injustices of family court, I am taking another step forward in my advocacy for victims, and in my fight for justice… You know me as “Emily Court”. That is a nickname (think “family court“) that I used when beginning this blog. I have used other names as well. There were a number of reasons that I chose to use a pen name… of them the strongest being the strong sense of shame, and guilt, that I felt as a victim of domestic violence. Along with it, the false accusations thrown at me in family court seared my heart, and fear held me back… I am here to say I will no longer be abused. I refused to live in fear. And I refuse to remain silent because in silence, those perpetrating abuse, injustice and corruption hide. Silence only serves to keep the secrets that bind us in shame, fear and guilt. Only in speaking out, and bearing witness to the truth, can we be free from those chains.
In 2006, a crisis caused me to flee my abuser, in which I became homeless with two children. We were able to enter transitional housing, and secured permanent housing after 18 months. My children were never able to come home, and begin their lives, free of abuse, enjoying what most children take for granted because the family court awarded sole custody to their abusive father, and in doing so, has forcibly and unjustly separated me from my children. Allegations of abuse, and concerning incidents continued after the children were given to their abusive father – which the family court continued to ignore, and cover up.
Another crisis has caused me to shed anonymity, and stand unashamed, in truth. Since I fled our home, I have been dealing with ongoing emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of my abusive ex. The events of the past months are troubling. I have been forced to return my child my abusive ex after she disclosed a concerning incident, knowing no one would protect her from harm. My ex admitted that something had happened to my child but refused to tell me what, and refuses to communicate with me in any way. After disclosure, my child has been drugged with psychiatric medicines while the underlying trauma, and source of her problems, remains untreated. I have had to watch month after month as my beautiful child has slipped away under a haze of medication that she does not need… what needs to be addressed is the source of her pain.
For the last months, I have had to witness both of my children grieve the loss of a mother (who lives within driving distance) simply because their father will not allow visits home. And I have to witness my abusive ex lie, manipulate, and play mind games in which the children are used as pawns. His behaviors escalate when I try to be involved in the lives of my children. His efforts only serve to hurt the children more. My children do not deserve any of this. They deserve to be happy, safe and loved. They deserve a real childhood. They deserve a mother in their lives, and along with it the care and love I can provide.
The Hennepin County Family Justice Center, Minnesota Guardian ad Litem Program, GALs and family court judges (4 have been assigned to my case) are complicit in all of this because they have not only covered up serious allegations of child abuse, but have enabled and empowered my abuser at great risk to the safety and well-being of my children and I.
The system has failed at every level … the only recourse I believe that exists now is to go public, expose the problems and join efforts for reform. With no place to hide, those in family court who have aided and abetted an abuser, and profited at the expense of my children’s lives, will be held accountable in the public eye.
Let me introduce myself to you again… my name is Lynn Mari… and here is an excerpt of my story, as told to Bill Windsor of “Lawless America“.
I have told my abuser in a very blunt message that I am going public with my story, and he is fully aware that this will all be exposed. He will no longer be able to hide behind the name “Mr. X” as I am disclosing his real name, Martin Hegland.
That being said, I do not carry any negative feelings towards you Martin, I pity you that you spent so many years hating me that you have totally destroyed your own life.
As for the children – I love them with all of my heart. And despite what you have done to me, and to them, I allow the children to have whatever relationship with you that want, without interference or judgement. I support my children. And encourage their growth. And pray for the day that they are able to seek therapy or help, and begin the courageous journey of healing from the damage you have caused.
Martin you can take my children from me for only so long because one day they will age out of the system, and they will come home. On that day, they will be greeted with hugs and celebration. And our lives will begin, together, as a family. That is why I do not carry negativity in my heart – because my children need a positive example that the cycle of abuse can be broken. My children need to be able to come to a home that is safe, loving and offers them opportunities to grow. I provide that home.
My children need to see that love is greater than anything against us, even the deepest darkness, is just a pinprick because, as the Bible says (1 John 4:18),”There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”
With that I step forward, shedding my pen name “Emily Court” and going forward in my real name, Lynn Mari… May justice prevail.